Business owners have a lot to worry about. Depending on the specifics, those worries might include inventory, client satisfaction, manufacturing, deliveries, customer service, marketing… it can be overwhelming. With all of the requirements to manage a business, some businesses may choose to ignore or overlook the managing of their online reputation.
I cannot stress how much of a mistake that is.
How Much is Your Online Reputation Worth?
If you’re a doctor or a lawyer, your reputation is everything. If a google search turns up horror stories from disgruntled patients or clients, a prospective customer is likely to look elsewhere. Having negative comments on review sites can turn off potential customers, or even current customers, and deprive you of business.
Steps to Monitoring Your Reputation
While it has never been easier to connect to a potential customer or client, it is similarly easy for them to search for your reputation. What might they find?
There are a few relatively simple steps you can take to monitor your reputation. I would suggest setting up automatic google alerts. This is a quick and relatively easy way to get alerts any time your name or company’s name is mentioned. If you adjust the search field slightly, you can maximize your results by filtering out similar names, so you only receive updates on comments made to or about you. Reducing the clutter of these searches will help keep your reputation monitoring efficient.
Monitoring if there have been negative reviews is also a valuable usage of time. How can you see if your name is on complaint sites? Using the site GoFish allows you to rapidly search through over 40 of the top complaint sites. This is a quick and easy way to see if your name or business is coming up in a negative light. Checking this every so often can help you find and isolate any potential issues that have come up.
Monitoring your reputation should be more than just checking for negative reviews, however. You should have a feel for what people are saying about you. Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter should be checked daily, if you use these sites. Getting a feel for what people are saying about you can help you make some adjustments, and potentially avoid negative reviews. The earlier you address a dissatisfied customer, the earlier you can fix any potential problems. Effective customer service can potentially turn a bad review into a good review, after all.
If it seems like a lot of work, it should: it is a lot of work. Unfortunately, with the instant marketing and connectivity power of the internet, there is also the potential pitfalls of having your name dragged through the mud by dissatisfied or antagonistic individuals. Keeping an eye on your online reputation is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Without constant attention, you run the risk of losing the good name you spent your whole life building.
After all, people can do irreparable damage to your company. Websites like ‘The RipOff Report,’ can be gamed and manipulated to malicious ends. Of course you can pay a fee to have negative reviews neutralized, but doesn’t that seem unjust? Shouldn’t it be easier and less morally ambiguous?
Even with daily monitoring and automatic updates, business owners should turn to professionals. For service providers like doctors, financial advisors, lawyers, etc, a professionally-focused reputation defender like BrightPast is a good option. Professional services like BrightPast can monitor and help to correct inaccurate statements, unwarranted negativity or outright lies.
For any professional who does not have the time to monitor their online reputation themselves, a service like BrightPast is the only viable option. Even for professionals who do have enough time to monitor their reputation, having professional assistance will likely yield better outcomes.
Search results are simply too important a factor in getting or losing customers.